Pass Rusher Still On The Wish List

March 6th, 2017

Mike Smith knows what he doesn’t have

You heard Jason Licht on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week. To win fast in the NFC South, the Bucs must jack up their pass rush.

Re-signing Will Gholston today was not a step in that direction.

But the Gholston cash drop does set the Bucs up to land a situational pass rusher to complement run-stuffing Gholston, or to draft a manbeast edge rush prospect in the first or second round next month.

Sure, last year’s second-round pick Noah Spence has lots of promise, but he’s coming off shoulder surgery and can you ever have enough pass rushers? Robert Ayers turns 32 before opening day and Jacquies Smith blew his knee out six months ago.

Again, Licht wants to boost the pass rush — and he already has linebackers with mad blitzing skills.

No, Joe hasn’t given up Tampa Bay entering Thursday’s Calais Campbell sweepstakes after Gholston’s signing. The Pro Bowler from the Cardinals is largely an interior pass rusher at 6-8, 300 pounds, but he’s versatile. And bringing him in (8 sacks in 2016) would keep Ayers’ edge legs fresher, and beef up the run defense.

Imagine being an offensive coordinator trying to run on Gerald McCoy, Calais Campbell, Robert Ayers and Will Gholston, with Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander hitting the gaps?

Dare to dream, Bucs fans.

If the Bucs pass on Campbell, ok. But don’t expect them to pass on landing another edge rusher.

30 Responses to “Pass Rusher Still On The Wish List”

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Rushing Downs
    • DE – Robert Ayers
    • DT- Calais Campbell
    • DT- Gerald McCoy
    • DE- William Gholston

    On Passing Downs
    • DE-Robert Ayers
    • DT*Calais Campbell
    • DT-Gerald McCoy
    • DE-Noah Spence

    Yep – Good luck with that

  2. bucsfaninchina Says:

    JOES – Any word on Jacquies Smith? Rehab from injury/Bucs willingness to resign?

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    Plllleeeaasse Tony Jefferson. One of the best blitzing safeties in the league.

  4. ndog Says:

    The key to all of that is if we can get Campbell no one and I mean no one will be left to block Kwon and LVD. Those two should be in the conversation for DPOY if this happens as they will have the freedom to make plays all day all over the field.

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yes Sirrrr

  6. MadMax Says:

    I still want Barnett or Solomon…..Mr. Hayes wants one of them too!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gholston bleeds for Tampa and Im very glad we kept him….pass rush not so much, but in the run game he’s a winner.

  7. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    We’ll end drafting DE guy with very little pub entering the draft and all will be like what a find by Licht.. And ol Glennon staying put after all huh..

  8. MadMax Says:

    LUV showing up….MadMax showing up….that means its time!

  9. Pepsi Says:

    Only thing about this Cambell dream scenario is it will be a short lived Dline. As you said Ayers will be playing at 32 next season, Cambell will be playing at 31, McCoy will be an injury proned 29 year old. This is why Im glad we locked down Gholston for the long term. but we’ll need to keep drafting those pass rushers unless they think Cambell allows us to make a serious run next year.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Luv, I think passing downs should be more like this:

    • DE– Noah Spence
    • DT- Calais Campbell
    • DT- Gerald McCoy
    • DE- Robert Ayers

    I foresee Ayers being moved over.

  11. c-spann Says:

    @LUVMYBUCS what do yu think of Daeshon Hall?

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The Gholston contract is pretty much perfect imo. $5 mill was absolute low mark I could have imagined with $7-8+ being the high mark.

    IT’s basically $5.5 per year for 5 years. He has to hit sack incentives to hit the $7.3 mill max.

    Not sure what the sack incentives are but if the guy is getting just 4-6 sacks even in his prime to go along with his run-stuffing then we got a huge bargain. And if he only gets 2-3 like his norm and is just a useful run-stuffer then he’s a good deal at $5.5 still.

    Win win win

    now go sign Campbell & a WR and dominate the draft and make some noise in the playoffs

  13. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I’ll tell you what Nos, I’d be a whole lot more excited about a DE in the 1st and running back Late, as opposed to the other way around.

  14. Jameisbucsfan Says:

    Demarcus Walker should slide to us in the second round. Grab him for the future. Grab Campbell for the short term.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    MadMax – Right on Brotha

    c-spann – Interesting prosepct. Needs to be more aggressive at the point of attack.
    To many times, I’ve watched him – get stone walled by a back, or smaller tightend.

  16. Joeypoppems Says:


    I like those lineups. One thing I would like to see different is for Ayers to be a rotational player at DT on passing downs if Campbell or GMC have to come off for any reason.

    Use a high pick on a pass rusher this year (Tim Williams if he checks out off the field would be my choice if not maybe Tak McKinley) and line him up opposite Spence on passing downs.

    Rotate Ayers in when needed. Depth and a good rotation would keep guys fresh and less chance of injury. No need imo for 32 year old Ayers to be an everh down DE

  17. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @Jameisbucsfan, That would be so incredibly sick. My Jaw would be in my chest if we get Demarcus Walker in the second. Maybe we could even trade back a few spots in the 1st round and take the freakishly athletic Evan Engram. Dude looks like the real deal after blazing that 4.42 40 at 6’3 235. We could use him like the skins use Jordan Reed, or maybe even convert him to Receiver, seeing that he has all the tools.

    Evan Engram and D Walker would be one heck of a haul in rounds 1 & 2. You add somebody like Sameje Perine or Marlon Mack in the 3rd and we’ll be cookin with some gas.

  18. Ben Says:

    Charles Harris or willis in draft. Need that speed/ moves off the edge.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Joeypoppems – I can respect that

    @ Blake_bucsfan – Preach

  20. MadMax Says:

    Safety Obi Melifonwu…..Ive been singing his name….who else?

  21. MadMax Says:

    We set the FA to draft WR/RB/Safety first 3 not necessarily in that order … I wrong?

  22. Mojiska Says:

    @max- hopefully we are setting up to be able to go a couple directions. If we get a few more key f.a. we may be able to go in almost completely open for the draft. Could be cb, te, oline, dine, wr, s, rb if we fill some gaping holes. Man that would be nice to let this draft come to us as opposed to reaching. First time in a while for tampa that I’m not sure of the first round direction.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Hell no to Tim Williams.

    Too small to play DE in a 4-3 and not fast enough to make up for it (4.7 40)

    He’s essentially a less athletic Noah Spence (Spence tested better in every drill except the 40) but weighing 15-20 lbs lighter and being taller.

    And he has history of failed drug tests (not just one incidence).

    If we want a speed rusher in round 1 I can sign off on Charles Harris but that’s about it. I’d prefer Solomon Thomas / Derek Barnett if either were available and we wanted to go D-line round 1. Those guys can get to the QB but add a size complement to Spence

  24. 47allin Says:

    FA Wish List:
    Campbell – DL
    Jackson – WR
    Jefferson – SS

    Either way, I’m looking at 5 strong 1st week FA picks. Don’t know what order

  25. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Pass on Campbell and sign Poe instead. Draft a DE, considering we can still get a good one in the 3rd or 4th round this year. The player I really want being our edge rusher is TJ Watt. If we could somehow trade back into the later part of the 1st and pick up an extra 3rd or 4th we could draft him.

    Imagine on running downs Ayers and Gholston at DE and Poe and GMC at DT. On passing downs have a combo of Ayers/Watt and Spawn along with GMC and Poe. With Gholston and Ayers ability to play inside as well we could have a fresh line at all times. Esp with McDonald and Jacques playing too.

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Just look what happened to our Bucs when the pass rush improved after the 1st half of the season. I’d make Another DE a top priority for this Buc Team. You can never have enough of them. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. !

  27. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    I think we can fix our D easier in free agency and allow most of our focus in the draft to be on offense. Signing someone like Poe and Cyprien could go along way into turning us into a true powerhouse. Depending on what Logan Ryan signs for, he would be a great pickup for a contract similar to Gholstons.

    We can draft a RB or 2 as well as TE and WR. Draft a flexible OLine guy and an edge rusher. At least 5 of our picks will be on the offensive side of the ball imo.

  28. destinjohnny Says:

    Last year was the deepest d line draft in 20 years.
    We drafted a slow under sized db and a kicker.
    Spence is a nice pass rush specilist who i am glad is on the team.
    VH3 would be a late 2nd round pick in this draft.

  29. Jersey Buc Says:

    Sign Campbell, because Mccoy is injury prone and will miss his 2-4 games a year. Draft Harris as edge rusher, because Jack Smith is injury prone and will miss his share of games if not the whole season. Only one true edge rusher on the roster. Spence is going to need help from the opposite side. Bucs in unfortunate position of depending on guys the same guys who get hurt, every year. Sign Campbell, draft Harris then fill in the other needs as you go. Don’t want to bring it up, but if they had drafted the DE out of Maryland last year in the 2nd round like we all were hoping for instead of a place kicker…this would be a lot simpler conversation.

  30. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Destin you should go be a the GM of the Falcons for a few years…